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UMaine unveils plaque honoring WWII veterans

The plaque sits in the WWII Memorial Garden
Plaque honoring WWII veterans at University of Maine.
Plaque honoring WWII veterans at University of Maine.(WABI)
Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 9:25 PM EDT
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ORONO, Maine (WABI) - The University of Maine honored World War II Veterans Thursday with a special plaque.

“Today is about thanking you, about presenting a small token that will remain on this campus to commemorate the entire service and work of our WWII colleagues and will be available to our entire Black Bear community for time to come,” said University of Maine president Joan Ferinni-Mundy.

The plaque sits in the WWII Memorial Garden, which honors roughly 4,000 Maine faculty, students, and staff.

People who spoke today say no generation has sacrificed as much as theirs without question.

Karyn Soltis-Habeck hopes the memorial offers a learning opportunity for generations to come.

“I hope that they’re learning abut it in their classes and they can take those pieces that they’ve learned and connect it to this memorial and not just walk by it but really get it,” Soltis-Habeck said.

Several veterans were in attendance for the unveiling, including Carmine Pecorelli, who fought in World War II and the Korean and Vietnam conflicts.

He had some advice for UMaine students.

“I want them to think that they have confidence in themselves and that they can do it, and if they don’t succeed then it doesn’t mean they’re a failure,” Pecorelli said.

Many of the veterans expressed gratitude to be honored in such a meaningful way.

“It’s a great honor and to see all the friends that I’ve had for so many years,” said Donald Galupe, a WWII veteran.

“It was an unbelievably hard time for those members and I can’t imagine it, and I’m glad that so many of us don’t have to,” Soltis-Habeck said.

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